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Apple will soon begin manufacturing iPhones at a facility owned and operated by its long-time original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partner, Wistron, in the bustling industrial hub of Bengaluru, India, according to a report published Friday by The Times of India.
India’s IT Minister, Priyank Kharge, released a signed statement on Thursday lauding Apple, and welcoming the California-based company to “commence initial manufacturing operations” in the Bengaluru facility, which has for long been Cupertino’s location of choice, due to its sprawling manufacturing industry.
According to the release, Kharge noted that Apple’s intent to manufacture in Bengaluru “will foster a cutting edge technology ecosystem and supply chain development in the state, which are critical for India to compete globally.” However, while Kharge stopped short of providing additional information about what steps still need to be taken, he did acknowledge that manufacturing will begin in June of this year, which is around the time Apple’s annual iPhone manufacturing season kicks into full gear.
Apple has wanted to tap the vast and potentially lucrative Indian market, which with a population of around 1.25 billion people, is among the largest on the face of the Earth; and the move makes India the third country — along with China and Taiwan — in which iPhones are manufactured.
The release also acknowledges that the Indian government has been meeting recently with a number of Senior Apple executives, including Vice President of iPhone operations, Priya Balasubramaniam; Director of iPhone operations, Dheeraj Chugh; and Senior Manager of Government Affairs for India and the Middle East, Ali Knahafer. However, as far back as December of last year, Apple had published a number of job openings for key positions at the Bengaluru facility — including an “iPhone operations program manager,” whose chief responsibilities would include leading the OEM operations team, managing all aspects of component readiness, ensuring availability, and collaborating with a number of “cross-functional” supply chain teams, according to the report.
Additionally, indicating that it wants to create a “manufacturing ecosystem” in the city — but not providing any additional details as to what that means, the Indian government acknowledged in the release that discussions about Apple collaborating in “other areas” are currently underway, as well.
“We made concerted efforts to reach out to Apple directly. We want to create a conducive environment for global majors like Apple so that we emerge as their preferred partner in their India growth story,” Kharge explained to The Times of India.
The fact that Apple and the Indian government have finally reached an agreement to move ahead is certainly great news for the country and its economy. But with other countries, also, wanting to get in on the whole ‘iPhone Made [Here]’ bandwagon — well, let’s just say this should be an interesting year for Cupertino and its ‘crown jewel’.
How do you feel knowing your next iPhone could be ‘Made in India’?
Let us know in the comments!